High Blood pressure also known as Hypertension, is the leading risk factor for death and disability globally.
The situation initially known to be “predominant” in developed countries is becoming increasingly prevalent in Lower Middle income countries, including those in West Africa.
Ghana is indeed no exception to this public health threat. It currently records a significant increase in the prevalence of the disease with about a quarter of the population suffering from Hypertension.
The ‘silent killer”, remains unknown to majority of the population especially those affected . Effective control of hypertension continues to be fought with access and adherence to available treatment.
Amidst these challenges, the Novartis Foundation with Ann Aerts as its head, believes, simple affordable steps to integrate routine blood pressure checks into the community, using chemists and other allied health professionals in partnership with existing healthcare settings, could play a major role.
“This is innovative” exclaims Prof Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Adding that it is very necessary as people today refuse to seek formal healthcare immediately when they feel sick.
Ann Aerts and Prof Piot both spoke to Kobby Blay of Ghanaealthnest.com at the “Talking NCDs” health dialogue organised by the Novartis Foundation and Novartis Access in Basel, Switzerland.
The event brought together global health leaders to discuss “Improving care for chronic patients in lower-income countries: the patient journey”
This interview focuses on the Novartis Foundation’s Telemedicine and the Community-based Hypertension Improvement Project(ComHIP) – challenges and successes achieved so far since its implementation together with the health authorities in Ghana and its other partners.
Watch video below.
Kobby Blay is the chief health editor at Ghanahealthnest.com. A professional practicing nurse with specialty in mental health and focus for health communications, public health, medical/documentary photography, ICT and systems perspective for health improvement.